There's a slew of new liquor brand books out on the market from companies including Seedlip, Sipsmith, St Germain, and others, and they're pretty much standard cocktail recipe books all using one brand. But a new one from Quaker City Mercantile/Art in the Age/Tamworth Distilling group is playing things a little differently.
The book is called The Good Reverend's Guide to Infused Spirits: Alchemical Cocktails, Healing Elixirs, and Cleansing Solutions for the Home and Bar by Steven Grasse, Sonia Kurtz, and Michael Alan.
The Good Reverend's Universal Spirit is a 151-proof neutral spirit, so not really a vodka but it can be diluted down to one (equal parts water brings it to 37.75% ABV), or, as this book shows, it can be used for all sorts of infusions, tinctures, and as this book shows: cleanser.
Rather than just cocktail recipes with the neutral spirit, the recipe sections in the books are for:
- liqueurs (by adding a tincture to water and sugar)
- bitters (by adding a tincture to a generic "bitters base" with wormwood, gentian,cherry bark, and quassia) and water
- imitation liqueurs including Aperol, Kahlua, and Midori
- and cocktails (themed around zodiac signs) with these imitation liqueurs
- standard vodka cocktails (almost as an afterthought, grouped together in an appendix)
- "intentional solutions"
The "intentional solutions" recipes come in two parts for each variation of a recipe: "physical cleaning solution" and "metaphysical cleaning solution." The physical cleaning solutions are scented cleansers, and the metaphysical ones are meant to be added to tea, water, or "beverage of your choosing" - they're combination tinctures.
The difference, recipe-wise, between the physical and metaphysical cleaners is the physical ones are made with essential oils added to neutral spirit, while the metaphysical ones are made as infusions with actual botanicals; because those are the ones actually meant for drinking.
The book is written with cheeky metaphysical/spiritual language that seems pretty harmless and fun. The photography is ridiculous with pictures of the name-brand liqueurs pixelated out,
Each of the above sections is only for about a dozen of each, so it's not a typical recipe book in any way but shows the utility - or universality - of the neutral spirit.